NRM@37: How UICT is driving Uganda’s ICT agenda

Kampala – Today, Thursday January 26, 2023, Uganda commemorates National Resistance Movement (NRM) Liberation Day.

Also commonly known as National Liberation Day, the holiday marks the overthrow of the previous government by the National Resistance Army/ NRM on this day in 1986.

After years of turmoil, Uganda has had three decades of uninterrupted stable democratic process under the NRM government led by president Yoweri Museveni.

This has led to development of various sectors in the economy among them Information Communication Technology (ICT).

NRM inherited a country where telephones were for the rich and services unreliable, yet they existed elsewhere in world. There was only one inefficient telephone company owned by the Government.

In 2006, NRM recognised and pledged to prioritise and promote the use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) as a tool and enabler of socioeconomic transformation and development.

Today, Uganda’s ICT sector is one of the most vibrant within the region and a fast-growing sector in the economy.

The importance of ICT has been amplified under COVID-19 driven lockdowns. During the period, ICT was employed to deliver education, health, trade in market places and financial services.

As one way to enhance ICT skills training in the country, government through Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) established Uganda Institute of Information and Communications Technology (UICT) in 2000.

UICT is the only government institution specializing in skills-based middle-level ICT training.

UICT hosting officials from Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) recently

According to Dr. Fredrick Edward Kitoogo, the Principal of UICT, the institute offers practical-oriented ICT training at certificate and diploma levels as an alternative to the theoretically-grounded degrees offered by Universities and other Tertiary Institutions in this same professional area.

In an interview with LBS Newsday, Kitoogo said the institution provides education and training in all fields related to the communications sector including telecommunications services, computer engineering, and information technology and business management.

“The Institute’s mandate is to provide high quality market-driven skills-based training, research, innovation, pre-incubation and consultancy that support a knowledge society,” he said

He added, “Well-educated, skilled and healthy human resources are essential to facilitate development. More so when they create quality and well-paying jobs for themselves and the communities they work in.”

ICT is listed among the core development enablers, under Uganda’s key policy documents including the National Vision 2040, National Development Plan (III) and the Government Manifesto, 2021-2026 ICT.

President Yoweri Museveni remains outspoken in articulating ICT, as an essential pillar for service delivery, private sector growth and wealth creation.

During the recent high level Forum on South – South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTrC) for Sustainable Development 2023 held in Kampala, President Museveni mentioned ICT among the five major points that must be achieved so as to attain sustainable economic development globally.

Government is digitalizing and rolling out e-services to all sectors, Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and Local Governments to be able to harness the potential of ICT.

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